The Council of the Institute of Maltese Journalists had a courtesy meeting with H.E. George Vella, President of Malta at the Palace, Valletta.

In his introductory comments, IGM chairman Yannick Pace congratulated Mr Vella on his appointment as President earlier this month. Mr Pace state that IĠM is committed in bringing people within the media sector together while promoting the best ethical and other journalistic practices. IĠM’s Chairman said that the Institute will be implementing an international code of ethics that shall be ratified by all journalistic associations within the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) during the latter’s annual congress in June.

In his inaugural speech, President Vella emphasised the need for the country to work towards national unity, a sentiment the IĠM wholeheartedly agrees with. The institute believes that this should also apply to the media. While it is to be expected and encouraged for various organisations to have their own editorial position, this should not come at the expense of a prevailing respect for the profession and each other. IĠM stated that it will continue to work with its various partners and willing organisations for it to be able to better serve as unifying force, and useful resource for all journalists.

President Vella emphasised the importance a free and unhindered press in any democratic society, noting that in addition to safeguarding the press’ freedom to report and investigate, it was also important for journalists to always remain loyal to the facts, irrespective of the matter being reported. Dr Vella also expressed his wish to see the local media go beyond the reporting of facts and for there to be more reflection on matters of importance to the country. H.E. concluded that IĠM can contribute by serving as a guiding point for the journalistic sector.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed forms of collaboration for the forthcoming years.